I found so many fascinating people and places that I couldn’t
fit them all into the newspaper articles. When the walk was over, I made a list of more than 100 undone stories, like the windmills of America, the red-hatted ladies, the Great Basin and, of course,
the four-pound hamburger (eat it all and it’s free).

I’ve included many of those stories in this book.

Today’s New Englanders are busier and less trusting. From Cape Cod to Pennsylvania, only one person offered me a ride -- a scruffy young guy in a beat-up car. Would I have stopped for him if our situations were reversed? Probably not. I’m from New England.

By Ohio, I was getting several ride offers a day. I couldn’t accept the rides of course, but they convinced me that these folks were different from New Englanders. People stopped to chat, they walked along with me. The Midwest, I thought, was more like the America I once knew.

But as I crossed the nation, I realized that the difference isn’t among sections of the country, it’s between the cities and the small towns, where the pace is slower and folks have more time and more trust.

There are parts of New England, far from the cities, where folks have a more in common with Midwesterners than Bostonians.

I wish I had done a better job of thanking these folks -- and everyone who encouraged us along the way.

Some of them stand out in my mind, like the waist-high kid who offered me a banana and a dollar bill to speed me on the way. And the guy who drove 75 miles because he was convinced a few words from me would help his sick son. And all the people who opened their homes, hotels, bed-and-breakfasts and lodgings to two complete strangers.

PennyWrightCowboys_Morris_ILL_3640_smTruck Driver Raymond Sand_1Dave Newell hardware#229A41EssieGarrettMcCook_smChuck and Bob_Ottawa_ILL_smDon Robertson_Art Ca#2299FFLindzyArnold_smAmish Boy Shoeing Ho#229A58Carousel Museum_Les Gerken_Auctioneer and Manager_smMural Man_Juliet_ILL_smLloy Hand Portrait_4395_smDogulas and Betty Ab#229A09Denny Manzonie_E. Cu#229A22George Klieber_Utica_ILL_smAdam Kirschner_Scher#229A57Troy Retallic_Wiota_smTom Mahoney working #229A42Sculptor Bradford Rh#229A0EPedal Paddle_cross c#229A5B



Joe Hurley observes the wonders and treasures of an area that most locals typically take for granted. He sees the value of history and Small Town America and after reading the tales of his trek it should make every American want to lace up their sneakers and take a walk through some of the highways and byways in their own backyard.

Through his observations, Joe reminds us that we all must understand and support our heritage and our history to ensure they have a future.”

Andrew M. Seder, Journalist
The Times Leader, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

THE PEOPLE OF ROUTE 6 WALK

ARCHIVED: Originally published on November 25, 2004
Long Beach Press-Telegram (CA)

WALKING FROM CONNECTICUT
Eight months and 3,500 miles ago, Joe Hurley started walking in Connecticut, looking for the America you can't see from an interstate highway. A semi-retired newspaperman, the 59-year-old set out to see if Americans are the same as when he was a boy 50 years earlier – Ozzie and Harriet or Will and Grace?

"I haven't found what I thought I'd find. I found many other things,'' Hurley said Wednesday,...



A CROSS-COUNTRY QUEST | JOE HURLEY'S BLOG | ROUTE 6 WALK | THE PEOPLE OF U.S. ROUTE 6 HIGHWAY | TEN MILLION STEPS | ROUTE6WALK NEWS